Research Shows the Most Effective Advertising Focuses on Emotion
Last week, I wrote about Sainsbury’s ‘Try Something New Today’ campaign. It was a case study of how this campaign helped the supermarket make another £2.5 billion in extra revenue.
The case was awarded many prizes for its ‘effectiveness’.
You’d think that advertising cases that are awarded for their effectiveness would all have a logical, rational approach to it.
But they don’t.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) analyzed 1400 case studies of the most successful and effective advertising campaigns over the last three decades.
Their analysis compared campaigns that relied most on emotional appeal versus those which used rational persuasion and information.
Advertising campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with only rational content.
The credit of this image goes to NeuroScienceMarketing.
The reason for this is because our brain can very easily process emotions and even more important: emotions are remembered for longer periods than facts.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to set up an effective, emotional advertising campaign.
The authors of the study argued that while it’s relatively simple to base a campaign on a fact, it’s far more difficult to grasp the right emotion — the right feeling — and translate this correctly in communications.
So where do you start?
Emotions should always be hard-wired into the fabric of your brand. More than anything, this requires a good understanding of consumer motivation. Do your customers purchase your products based on facts or based on a certain feeling or emotion?The authors of the study mention Nike as a brand that communicates very effectively through the use of emotions. Nike has been tremendously successful in the sports category, largely due to the fact that it understands the emotional drivers in the category very well. They then build on these emotional drivers with communications and sponsorships that are relevant.
The authors of the study mention Nike as a brand that communicates very effectively through the use of emotions. Nike has been tremendously successful in the sports category, largely due to the fact that it understands the emotional drivers in the category very well. They then build on these emotional drivers with communications and sponsorships that are relevant.
Now, you might think that emotional marketing only applies to the Nike’s, Unilever’s and John Lewis’ of this world, but that’s certainly not the case. The approach to emotional marketing is just different for a large brand than it is for a smaller brand.A large brand might zoom in on an emotion that many people feel. And they have the budget to then claim this emotion through advertising. But the smaller brand is in a different position as they don’t have that type of budget. So the smaller brands need to be smarter.
As advertising magazine AdAge puts it: smaller brands need to ‘prioritize until it hurts’ and uncover opportunity costs that make the most sense for their business. While prioritization is important for any business, it’s critical to the survival for companies with lesser budgets where there’s less room for error and much less wiggle room.
So for all brands, small and large, capturing emotions is the gateway to effective advertising. And effective advertising gets results.